Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A: Specifications:
Screen size: 28 inch
Refresh rate: 144 Hz
Inputs: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-A, USB-B, 3.5mm audio
Dimensions: 25.2 x 21.3 x 8.4 in
If I were to buy a gaming monitor tomorrow, it would probably be the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A. After testing quite a few displays over the past few weeks, I couldn’t help but notice that almost everyone had a significant downside. Whether it was a clunky design, a dull color palette, or an outdated array of ports, nearly every device I analyzed had a critical flaw that threatened to compromise the experience.
By contrast, the $800 VG28UQL1A is nearly flawless. It has a beautiful display with vibrant colors; it has an elegant design with easy installation; it has smart functionality for both powerful PCs and current generation consoles. While the HDR could be a little bit more accurate and the menus a little more intuitive, the VG28UQL1A is simply one of the best gaming monitors we’ve been testing it for a while. Read our Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review for more.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: Design
With its minimalist base and thick stand, the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A looks like a gaming monitor. It doesn’t look like an uncomfortably over-designed gaming monitor, however, favoring simple angles and only a few geometric flourishes. The screen is 28 inches wide, with minimal bezels on the sides and top, and a slightly larger bezel with the Asus logo on the bottom. In a gaming corner, the device should look good. But the VG28UQL1A would also look great in a professional or creative environment, especially since it’s powerful enough to handle all kinds of graphic design work.
A particularly useful feature of the VG28UQL1A is that you can orient the screen vertically. That’s a boon for productivity users, but it’s easy enough to go back to when you’re ready to game. You can tilt the screen back and forth 25 degrees, rotate it back and forth 30 degrees, or move it up and down about two inches. However you play, the VG28UQL1A should have a setup for you.
As for ports, the VG28UQL1A has most of what you need, but not absolutely everything. It has two HDMI 2.1 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort, which should be enough to connect many consoles and at least one serious PC. In terms of routing, you can also plug in a USB-B cable and access two USB-A ports and a 3.5mm audio jack. My only complaint here is that the ports are quite out of the way, so it’s probably not worth it for peripherals that you may need to unplug often.
Image 1 from 2
Likewise, the monitor could have benefited from at least one USB-C port. Between carrying video signals, charging gadgets, and connecting new peripherals, USB-C has become quite mainstream in the gaming space in recent years, and even just one port would have gone a long way.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: Screen
If there’s one thing I’d like to say about the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A monitor in this review, it’s that it has an absolutely gorgeous display. Twenty-eight inches is a great size for most desks, while the 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate are ideal for gaming, TV, movies and all sorts of productivity tasks. The image is crisp, clear and sharp, and the colors are vibrant and lifelike.
Here’s how the VG28UQL1A stacks up to a few similar monitors:
|Brightness (nits)||sRGB spectrum (%)||Delta-E|
|Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A (Landscape)||263||133||0.23|
|Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A (HDR)||233||133||0.23|
|Acer Nitro XV282K (Standard)||185||137||0.31|
|Acer Nitro XV282K (HDR)||248||136||0.22|
|Sony Inzone M9 (Standard)||396||145||0.31|
|Sony Inzone M9 (HDR)||793||145||0.31|
The benchmarks are generally in line with our observations. The VG28UQL1A fared well compared to some of its closest analogs, including the Acer Nitro XV282K and the Sony Inzone M9† While the VG28UQL1A was slightly brighter than the XV282K in a standard configuration (263 nits vs. 185 nits), it was a bit dimmer in HDR (233 nits vs. 248 nits).
Likewise, the sRGB color gamut of the VG28UQL1A’s 133% didn’t quite match the XV282K’s 137%. However, the VG28UQL1A produced more accurate colors, with a Delta-E measurement of 0.23, compared to the XV282K’s 0.31. (Close to zero is better.)
Interestingly, the Inzone M9 outperformed both machines on all counts, except for color accuracy. Still, the Inzone M9 is brand new and costs $100 more than the VG28UQL1A, so perhaps unsurprisingly the benchmarks are a bit better.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: Performance
One interesting thing about the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A is that it worked well with all my test games. Most gaming monitors excel at certain titles and falter at others, but the VG28UQL1A made demanding games on both PC and PS5 look beautiful, with deep, rich colors and smooth frame rates.
On PC I played through chunks of Age of Empires IV† Eternal doom† Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy XIVwhile I chose Nioh remastered and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok on PS5.
To put things in perspective, I play Doom Eternal a lot, as it’s one of my favorite games for testing all kinds of gaming peripherals. I’ve never seen this game as good as on the VG28UQL1A. The deep, exaggerated, infernal reds and oranges of the volcanic landscape contrasted beautifully with the dull gray of a shotgun, the electric blue of a plasma cannon, or the rich green of the Doom Slayer’s armor.
The monitor didn’t skimp on the other games either, with beautiful contrast in the nighttime cities of FFXIV, and deep blues and greens on the medieval battlefields of Age of Empires. The blues and grays in Cyberpunk 2077 weren’t as noticeable as I’d hoped, but the electric pinks and oranges pulled me right back in.
With HDR activated, however, the graphics on PS5 looked a little darker than I expected. Activating the monitor’s console mode didn’t seem to change much. Both Nioh and AC Valhalla still had excellent contrast and rich colors, but the screen just didn’t look as bright, which was a problem in well-lit rooms or dark in-game environments. You can play around with the PS5’s HDR settings and each game’s graphics settings, but it takes more effort than I expected to make any game look good. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but PC games look essentially perfect without user input, and I’d hoped the PS5 would be the same.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: Interface
The Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A has a menu system that is packed with options, but also a bit complicated. You have tons of options, from variable OD to GamePlus and Shadow Boost, but it’s not entirely clear what each option does, or which you can use with HDR settings. There are just a lot of complicated permutations available. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wonder how many players want to learn in and out of the complex menus, and how many of them just want to jump into a game.
One thing you can do with the Asus menu is turn up and down the volume, and this is worth discussing. While the VG28UQL1A isn’t the only gaming monitor with a set of speakers, it’s one of the few gaming monitors with a decent set of speakers. While the speakers are nothing fancy, compressing bass, treble and vocals a little more than I’d like, they’re perfectly adequate for everyday use. After playing Cyberpunk 2077 for about half an hour, I realized I didn’t feel like putting in my headphones, which can be a record for a gaming monitor.
Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: verdict
While the Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A isn’t an absolutely perfect gaming monitor, it comes tantalizingly close. HDR clarity could have been a bit better and a USB-C port wouldn’t have gone amiss. But these flaws do little to detract from a monitor that brings demanding games to life with a minimum of effort.
To be fair, the VG28UQL1A benchmarked in the same way as the XV282K and the Inzone M9, and I don’t think the Asus is any better than those two competitors. If you go to one, you might as well look at all three. But if you’re looking for a gaming monitor that essentially does everything right, look no further.